EWS norms ignored: Chandigarh MC bars Uppal Housing Society from selling property till further orders
The matter dates back to 2005 when the society failed to construct 25 houses for the economically weaker section.punjab Updated: Nov 03, 2017 14:15 IST
The Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) on Thursday directed the management of Uppal Housing Society, Manimajra, to refrain from selling any property till further directions.
Besides this, the MC has also constituted a five-member committee to assess the cost of land and property owned by the society. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a month so that appropriate action can be initiated.
With this, the case has once gain come under limelight. The matter dates back to 2005 when the society failed to construct 25 houses for the economically weaker section (EWS).
Additional commissioner of the MC, Uma Shankar Gupta, said, “We have directed the management of the society to not sell any property till the further orders. We have also written to tehsildar of the UT administration not to register any of their properties.”
He added, “The committee will assess the vacant land in the society where EWS houses can be constructed. Once the report is submitted, we will decide on the further course of action.”
The said housing society is an upend society with luxury apartments in it. There are a total of 187 four-bedroom flats in it. Each of them costed ₹3 crore in 2010.
Issue pending with vigilance dept for five years
In 2016, the issue pertaining to the alleged irregularities in the Uppal Housing Society had also rocked the MC House meeting several times.
The issue has been pending the UT vigilance department for the past five years, and was discussed in the MC House meeting on February 29 last year. Some members had also sought the status of EWS flats at the housing society.
Last year, in an investigation, Hindustan Times had found that MC officials chose to not take any action against the housing society when it submitted its building plan and moved an application to get the occupation certificate to the UT administration, instead of the MC.
As per norms, the housing society needs to get these approvals from the civic body because it had auctioned the land for the project.
Provision of 15% EWS houses systematically overlooked
The UT administration had approved the zoning plan of 5.39 acres, with the rider that 15% of the total numbers of houses should be constructed for the EWS category, having a minimum area of 200 square feet.
Even the MC House meeting in August 2002 had approved that 15% EWS houses should be constructed as part of the project. However, when MC officials invited participation for the auction in October 2005, they did mention the EWS houses.
In April 2011, a committee under the then joint commissioner, Kamlesh Kumar, was constituted to inspect the status of the EWS houses. In its report, the committee said that despite the housing society’s failure to construct the EWS houses, the MC did not take any action against the society’s management and the officials concerned.
CBI finds society guilty
In May 2011, Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma had filed a complaint with the CBI in this regard. Following this, the investigating agency held the society guilty of not constructing the EWS houses.
The CBI had also recommended that further investigation may be conducted by the department and that action may be initiated against the erring official(s) who were party to the process of land allotment, sanctioning of the building plan, making inspections and issuing the occupation certificate.
The recommendations was sent to the UT administration, following which the case was handed over to the vigilance department. A report in this regards is awaited.